The Juliana Theory - 09.20.05
|Thanks for sitting down with me. What's your name and your duties in the band?|
My names Brett, I sing, play guitar and some keyboard.
Where did the title from your latest album come from?
I guess, the album, more than anything in the past, is kind of, I guess it's a break up record really. And I feel totally cheesey saying that, but in a sense it was originally Deadbeat Sweetheart because it's kind of, well I guess it's self exlanitory. After we started recording the record, doing it how we did, recording it live and everything, it really felt like it had more of a pulse than anything we've done in the past, so we wanted to have the word heartbeat in the title. Maybe I should've put a space after the word sweet, but I just decided to make one stupid word out of it, sweetheartbeat. So it basically
became Deadbeat Sweethearbeat.
Where did the name The Juliana Theory originate from?
When we started the band, we were a side project of a bunch of other bands. We didn't think we'd ever play any real shows. We were like, maybe we'll do a demo, two or three shows, that's pretty much it. So when we started out, we didnt put much stock in naming our band, we just thought it wasn't going to be serious, so it is pretty much a random name that came from nowhere and doesn't mean anything. For our first release we had this elaborate story behind the name, that was false, and we conned alot of people into thinking it was true. I liked the story we had, but it took 15 minutes to explain it everytime people asked, so we just got tired of explaining it, we were just like 'it doesnt mean anything'. It means nothing and is a completely meaningless name.
Who produced the album and how do you feel about the finished product?
Well we worked with this guy named John Travis, he and I produced the album together. We're real pleased with it overall, we think it's our best record. And I guess, artists would normally say that, but we really think that this time around. We cut out the fat, wrote way more songs, we really tried to narrow it down to the ones we thought were best. There's alot of B-sides. We wrote enough songs to make three albums and we just kept trying to trim it down and make it as good as it could possibly be. I think that's probably why we like it.
Is there a favorite song you have off of the album?
My favorite song is probably the hidden track. It was a really cool song to record. It's actually the demo of the song, and we decided not to record it again. It was recorded 100% live, I was playing organ and singing at the same time. And I was in the room with everyone else, our amps were in different rooms, but they were like hitting pedals, if you listen really close, you can hear them hitting foot switches and stuff. You can hear them strumming guitar on the vocal mic. I really like that song, it's probably my favorite.
What was it like releasing an album through a major?
Well it could've been good, but I think Epic Records was a little too busy worrying about J-Lo's body guards and Good Charlotte's personal tattoo artists. I don't think they really paid much attention to a blue-collar band from Pittsburg. So we kind of got lost in the shuffle, but there were definately good things and bad things about being on the label, but the good was definatly over shadowed by the bad. I think alot of people have good experience with that, but you see and hear alot of bands that have a negative experience as well. And ours was negative, I think we were written off and forgot about before our record was even released. Even though it did really well the first week and everything.
Do you think Love was pushed enough and was it a success in your own eyes?
It definately wasn't pushed enough, but I don't try to guage wether our records were a success or not, so I don't really know how to answer that to be honest.
I think Emotion Is Dead is the greatest album of my generation, I think it was way ahead of it's time, but what do you think is the greatest album you've recorded?
Wow. That's really kind of you, thank you. Obviously, like I said we think our new record is the best we've done. But, Emotion Is Dead was a strange experience. Read they lyrics to "To The Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children" and it's basically, we felt, we can have that many fans before that record, we did, we sold however many copies of Understanding This Is A Dream. We thought that since we changed our sound so much, that nobody was going to like what we were doing. Our band has always straddled the line between indie-rock or punk rock and commercial rock and I think when we made Emotion Is Dead we thought it was way too over the line, it's too commercial, it's too poppy. People aren't going to get it. So we thought the whole time nobody was going to like it, everybody would hate it. It's interesting now to hear younger people, and people in other bands continue to tell us how it was a huge influence on them, and that's something we never would have expected.
A bunch of chitter chatter goes on here as Brett and I watch all of the Vespa's coming from the Vespa convention. While trying to focus on the interview, my girlfriend Mary is pointing at all the 'cute' ones.
What bands have influenced you over the years, and who are you listening to now?
Over the years it was classic bands that probably everyone says. We grew up with The Cure, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, and The Smashing Pumpkins. I think at this point, I can only say what I'm listening to, because we all listen to different stuff, but right now I'm listening to alot of Waylon Jennings, alot of Johnny Cash. We all have so much different stuff we listen to, it's like a melting pot. You can listen to the new album and say oh that sounds like The Queens of the Stone Age or The Cure, but I don't think there's anything that's directly from those bands. At least I hope not.
Why did you go back to an Indie and why Abacus a mainly hardcore label?
We went back to an indie because we wanted to be the big fish in a small pond. We never had that oppurtunity before. When we were on Tooth and Nail there was always much bigger priorities at the label. MxPx or the Supertones, or whatever it was, and we never felt like we got the attention we wanted to get there. And with Abacus, Robert, who runs Century Media, who's been a fan of the band since our first album. He was one of the people who was more excited about the record, because we did the record ourselves, we payed for it ourselves, we did it on our own time, with no one's input or assitance it was pretty much us. Robert was like "we'll make you the number one priority of my company", and we thought well that's good. And the main reason, more than that, we chose to be with the Century Media family because they have great distrobution overseas, all of their records come out in lots of other places. We've always wanted our records to come out in Europe and everywhere else. Our last record came out in Australia, and other than that we've had no international releases. I believe on November 14th our records comes out in almost all of Europe, Brazil and some other places. A bunch of places where our records have never seen the light of day before, so that was one of the main reasons.
What was done with all the other songs you wrote, and is there a chance we'll ever hear them?
I think there's four of them that are on the bonus DVD with the record and we will probably from time to time put songs on purevolume or who knows. It's hard to say. Because some songs should blatantly be B-sides and a couple of them shouldn't be heard by anybody because they weren't good enough. But, there's definately a few more that we all like, that we wouldn't have a problem with people hearing.
Will you ever return to the UK to tour?
Our record comes out over there November 14th and we plan on returning there in hopefully January. Fingers crossed, we better.
Any parting words for our readers?
Thanks for sticking with our band this long, and being loyal.
02:27 PM on 09/20/05
Great interview, thanks for asking my question .
02:34 PM on 09/20/05
good interview, too bad as i'm writing this it just said "myspace-place for music"
so I've lost my hope for words and music.
02:51 PM on 09/20/05
Good interview! Glad I got to sit in on it.
05:02 PM on 09/20/05
nice my question got answered
06:18 PM on 09/20/05
This interview has ownage written all over it. Pro interview, I'm totally impressed. How cool is it to hang with your favorite band and chillax. Thanks for asking about the influences.
08:16 PM on 09/20/05
juliana theory is one of the greatest bands around :)
10:47 PM on 09/20/05
Infatuation is the greatest song they ever recorded, EVERYONE I make listen to it loves it
Buy The Music